Nigerians disagree with the report that South Africa has the most hard working people in the world.
In an analysis of 37 affluent countries, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found which countries are working the longest hours, and what percent of the population is working very long hours at 50 or more a week.
Many Nigerians who responded to the report claimed perhaps Nigeria was not part of the countries observed for the research and that Nigeria is one of the countries where people work the longest hours.
A Nigerian Human Resources expert in South Africa discounts the report as biased and baseless. “Nigeria may be described as the headquarters of the places where people work longest hours. In some parts of Nigeria, there is hardly leave for staff”.
The country which was found to work the most hours was South Africa at 2,209 hours a year, which was also the fourth highest country for employees working 50 hours or more at 18.1 percent.
Mexico worked the second longest (2,148) with 28.7 percent working 50 hours or more. Costa Rica came third, (2,121) however there wasn’t data available for the percentage of employees working very long work weeks.
Fourth was Korea (1,993) at 25.2 percent, and surprisingly, fifth was Russia (1,972) with 0.1 percent.
Different cultural attitudes and socio-economic factors contribute to the number of hours workers are expected to work.
South Africans have been labelled some of the hardest working in the world and are three times more likely to work a 60-hour work week than Americans, although South African’s labour law prohibits being asked to work more than 45 hours a week.
Mexico’s long working weeks are attributed to internalised fears of unemployment and lenient labour laws which means the maximum 48-hour workweek isn’t often imposed.
South Korea’s long hours were introduced as an initiative to boost economic growth.
However, with falling birth rates and stagnating productivity the country’s working hours have been reduced to allow workers to rest.
Meanwhile, the 2019 report from value work.com revealed that Mexico, Costa Rica, South Korea, Greece, Russia, Chile, Poland, Israel, Lativa and Portugal are the 10 most hard working countries in 2019.
Other experts claimed the suggestion that Nigerians are part of the hardest working countries is more of a mirage than a reality.